Increasingly sophisticated ad fraudsters continue to wreak havoc, to the likely tune of $7.2 billion this year. Yes, you read that right.
With all the recent press about digital ad fraud, we’d expect that by now enough changes would have been made in the industry that we’d start to see the bloodshed taper off.
“Online ad fraud driven by bots will cost brands $7.2 billion globally this year, according to a forecast in a new joint study by the Association of National Advertisers and White Ops,” Heine explains. “That’s up from the $6.3 billion the two organizations predicted in a similar report for 2015.”
“The level of criminal, non-human traffic literally robbing marketers’ brand-building investments is a travesty,” writes Bob Liodice, ANA president and CEO in a statement. “It also underscores the need for the entire marketing ecosystem to manage their media investments with far greater discipline and control against a backdrop of increasingly sophisticated fraudsters.”
Discipline and control are two things that marketers have been willing to abdicate as programmatic ad buys and other technology have pushed out more labor intensive types of ad buys. Unfortunately this has left the door wide open for fraud, and it has reached hugely criminal proportions.
The industry has begun talking about possible solutions to ad fraud, with some publishers taking on the digital ad nightmare by recognizing the value of quality over quantity. It’s a necessary move, and one that takes a lot of education for CMOs who have been obsessing over clicks as their KPIs.
Talk is one thing; action is another. The only way to combat this effectively is to rethink everything we thought we knew about digital advertising sales and placement. Tall order, for certain, and an awful lot of companies have a lot of money invested in keeping things as they are…even if it means settling for mind boggling levels of waste.
I wonder if we’ll still be writing about this a year from now…and how many more billions will be wasted in the meantime.